What Are Autoimmune Disorders?

bad and good bacteria

Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.

In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Treatment for autoimmune diseases generally focuses on reducing immune system activity. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

 

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  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). People with lupus develop autoimmune antibodies that can attach to tissues throughout the body. The joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys are commonly affected in lupus. Treatment often requires daily oral prednisone, a steroid that reduces immune system function.

 

image of gut

 

 

 

 

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome. The immune system attacks the nerves controlling muscles in the legs and sometimes the arms and upper body. Weakness results, which can sometimes be severe. Filtering the blood with a procedure called plasmapheresis is the main treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome.

 

  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. Similar to Guillian-Barre, the immune system also attacks the nerves in CIDP, but symptoms last much longer. About 30% of patients can become confined to a wheelchair if not diagnosed and treated early. Treatment for CIDP and GBS are essentially the same.

gut & brain

 

  • Psoriasis. In psoriasis, overactive immune system blood cells called T-cells collect in the skin. The immune system activity stimulates skin cells to reproduce rapidly, producing silvery, scaly plaques on the skin.

 

 

  • Graves’ disease. The immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to release excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms of Graves’ disease can include bulging eyes as well as weight loss, nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, weakness, and brittle hair. Destruction or removal of the thyroid gland, using medicines or surgery, is usually required to treat Graves’ disease.

 

 

 

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Antibodies produced by the immune system attack the thyroid gland, slowly destroying the cells that produce thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid hormone develop (hypothyroidism), usually over months to years. Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, dry skin, and sensitivity to cold. Taking a daily oral synthetic thyroid hormone pill restores normal body functions.

progression

 

  • Myasthenia gravis. Antibodies bind to nerves and make them unable to stimulate muscles properly. Weakness that gets worse with activity is the main symptom of myasthenia gravis. Mestinon (pyridostigmine) is the main medicine used to treat myasthenia gravis.

 

 

  • Vasculitis. The immune system attacks and damages blood vessels in this group of autoimmune diseases. Vasculitis can affect any organ, so symptoms vary widely and can occur almost anywhere in the body. Treatment includes reducing immune system activity, usually with prednisone or another corticosteroid.

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“What I wish people would know is that this is something that people cannot get used to.

parkland-florida-school-shooting-03-ap-jc-180214_16x9_608We live in a world of so many distractions that we fail to give our own kids the proper care, love and understanding of what it is that they are going through at their age.

We have become so accustomed to just giving them their wants instead of their needs.

we try to fill in the that void with temporary things such as tablets, game consoles, and many materialistic things that will only make them happy temporarily.

Love and understand your children so that they can share and give in return that love and care to one another.

Everyone’s off-target. Another horrible shooting, another young shooter. Eighteen years of death since West Paducah, Kentucky first warned of an epidemic. Finally, there’s invigorated debate about gun control and mental health care. But, there’s a glaring problem.

Guns and mental illness are merely attributes of these shootings, they are not the reason why numerous kids are killing people. It is time we stopped fooling ourselves and started asking why our youth are so disaffected that they’re lashing out, murderously, at the world we’ve given them.

While increased regulation and improved mental health may decrease the number of deaths from these tragedies, to suggest they are solutions to a society-wide epidemic of youth killing people is a logical fallacy: Guns don’t cause people to kill, and one individual’s illness does not create a nationwide epidemic of unprecedented killings.

Our children are disaffected because they are angry, and have every right to be, and no one’s listening to them. Why, because, we have raised them in a society that is in blatant moral contradiction of what we teach them, and yet we deny it. We tell them “do unto others,” to live equally, and in peace, while everything we do proves otherwise.

As a musician and poet, it’s my job to take the pulse of my country and world and express it in service to the betterment of humankind. From the day that Michael Carneal walked into Heath High School on December 1st, 1997, I knew something was terribly wrong. Something bigger than guns or individual illness.

I immersed myself in the issue of school shootings, and toured the country singing to and speaking with thousands of youth the same age as the shooters, would-be killers. In my song “West Kentucky” about Carneal’s rampage, I reflected as a southern boy reared in gun culture aware that in this disaffection, something horrifying was at our doorstep:

“Now this young boy is charged with murder
And not one tear flows from his eyes
When they asked him for a reason
All he says is I don’t know why…
I myself am from Virginia
And one thing I know is clear
Regardless of a reason
This did not used to happen here.”

Immediately after the Columbine shootings occurred, I wrote my song “The Darling Son,” a song based on an ancient ballad called ‘Edward’ or ‘The Twa Brothers,’ in which a mother questions her son who has killed his brother and fails in his attempts to falsify his story.

In my song, the mother confronts her son who has just killed his classmates, shortly before he kills himself:

“Where, oh where did you get that gun? Son, please talk to me.
I got it from your husband, mom, who rarely talks to me.
But where did you learn to be so cruel? Son, please talk to me.
I learned it in the books at school that taught me history.
But where did you learn to kill my son, son please talk to me.
I learned it from this great, great land, that kills across the sea.
Oh, where will you go, my only one? Son, please talk to me.
I’m going far beyond the sun, where no one’s eyes can see.”

The thousands of high school and college student that you hear in this live recording, all the same age-group as our school shooters, are cheering each word because the song is giving voice to what is bothering them, to something they live with everyday that is making them angry, but that no adult has ever admitted to them.

Everywhere I’ve gone, youth have come up to me after shows, often in tears, thanking me, asking if they can hug me, telling me I’m the first adult who’s ever talked to them about the truth of their world, thoughts they say they’re afraid to express openly to adults they think are not receptive.

Our children are not stupid. Armed with the internet, they have access to more information than prior generations could ever imagine. As much we may like to ignore it, we cannot pull the wool over their eyes as though it were 1975.

We have given them a world in which they know millions have been killed or made refugees in a war waged over oil that is causing global warming, voted for by politicians bought by corporate interests, while their own parents, many of whom are divorced, work day and night to make ends meet, unavailable to them, while pop culture sells unprecedented wealth, debauchrery and violence to them daily. And we act as though the problem is guns and mental health.

We have created a society that is morally bankrupt, and the victims are our children who have lost faith in authority due to our moral duplicity. This is the cause of school shootings.

By failing to engage our youth in honest conversation about their world as they see it, we sentence the most sensitive, already neglected, but often most gifted, inquisitive of our youth, to despair. If we continue this denial, we will have more of these children pushed to the point of breaking, regardless of gun control.

Every child of ours could become a killer, or a changemaker. It is up to us to give them the necessary moral consistency, inspiration and support to become the latter.

But, in the 18 years since the dawn of school shootings, I have yet to see our politicians or mainstream media respond to one of these tragedies by asking the youth themselves what it is they are angry about. Now’s the time to start.

We need a campaign to listen to our youth. We need to work with and inspire them to channel their justified feelings into groundbreaking work for good before it festers in them unresolved and explodes. I’m prepared to dedicated myself to the effort.

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